Malcolm X’s visits to Mecca and West Africa in April-May of 1964 helped broaden his global scope a bit more since departing from the Nation of Islam earlier that March. Later, during the summer, he internationalized the plight of Africans in America on a legal level when he presented his case at the Organization of African Unity’s second meeting, held in Cairo, Egypt, July 17-21, 1964.

The Black nationalist advocate distributed a memorandum on Organization of Afro-American Unity letterhead July 17—which he lectured on later that day—to the heads of state that were present, detailing his intentions to up the ante against the United States regarding its torrid mistreatment of her third-class citizens.

“The OAAU has sent me to attend this historic African summit-conference as an observer to represent the interests of 22 million African-Americans whose human-rights are being violated daily by the racism of American imperialists,” he began.

Continuing, he said, “Since the 22 million of us were originally Africans, who are now in America, not by choice but only by a cruel accident in our history, we strongly believe that African problems are our problems and our problems are African problems. We in America are your long-lost brothers and sisters.”

Malcolm laid out the callous, cold-hearted conditions relocated Africans endure, stating that “in America, [they are] suffering the most inhuman forms of physical and psychological tortures imaginable. And all of these inhuman atrocities have been inflicted upon us by the American governmental authorities, the police themselves, for no reason other than that we seek the recognition and respect granted other human beings in America. We stand defenseless, at the mercy of American racists who murder us at will for no reason other than we are Black and of African descent.”

Malcolm X’s rapid global awareness coincided with the solidification of Africa as many of its colonized countries were shaking off the shackles of European imperialism, establishing their indigenous independence and implementing a new era of the Pan-African paradigm.

“Your problems will never be fully solved until and unless ours are solved,” he indicated. “You will never be fully respected until and unless we are also respected. You will never be recognized as free human beings until and unless we are also recognized and treated as human beings. Our problem is your problem. It is not a [Black] problem, nor an American problem … this is a world problem, a problem for humanity. It is not a problem of civil rights, it is a problem of human rights!

“If South Africa is guilty of violating the human rights of Africans here on the mother continent, then America is guilty of worse violations of the 22 million Africans on the American continent. And if South African racism is not a domestic issue, then American racism also is not a domestic issue.”

Malcolm concluded: “We beseech independent African states to help us bring our problem before the United Nations on the grounds that the United States government is morally incapable of protecting the lives and the property of 22 million African-Americans.”

Read the entire speech at